LG Intros Affordable Touch-Screen Phone

The KP500 has Bluetooth, a document viewer, expandable memory, and multimedia capabilities, and it should have a low price.

LG's KP500 Smartphone

LG's KP500 Smartphone
(click for larger image)
LG Electronics is trying to bring touch-screen cell phones to the masses with the introduction of a low-cost touch-screen handset. Although the company did not give an exact price, LG said the KP500 will have an affordable introduction price "never offered before."

Of course, this lower price means the KP500 will lack some features that other touch-screen handsets like the Samsung Omnia, HTC Touch, and iPhone 3G have. But the latest LG handset packs enough features to make it a potential bargain.

"The feedback we receive from consumers around the world indicates that there's more people who wish to try the latest touch-screen phones," said Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG's mobile communications company, in a statement. "We want to reach out to this group and LG KP500 is our answer to deliver a high-quality, full touch-screen phone that is easy to use and much easier to afford."

The 3-inch screen sports 240- by 400-pixel resolution, and the accelerometer automatically orients the screen depending on how the phone's being held. The large screen has handwriting-recognition software, and it can be used to view Office documents and PDFs.

While there's no Wi-Fi or 3G, customers can use the EDGE connectivity to browse the Web and check e-mail. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera capable of capturing video, as well as Bluetooth version 2.1, organizer, voice recording, and built-in hands-free controls.

The handset also has multimedia capabilities, as it can play multiple video and audio codecs. There's also a built-in FM radio, and the memory can be expanded up to 8 GB via a MicroSD slot.

The handset measures in at 4.1 by 2.1 by 0.5 inches, and it weighs about 3.1 ounces. The KP500 is expected to be available at the end of October in Europe, and then will move to other markets.